President Obama’s trip to Cuba has certainly generated headlines. Virtually every story uses the word historic to describe it. Liberals have praised him while conservatives have scorned him.
I have a different take. To me it’s not that big a deal. It probably makes sense to communicate with a country so close. Ted Cruz said that Obama legitimizes the Castro brothers and their brutal regime. Our ignoring them hasn’t made a difference and I doubt that going there will either. We need to recognize that what we do will have little effect now or when the Castros are gone.
Nearly six decades of communist rule have left the country an economic basket case. They still drive old 50s US cars. They have no money to buy anything from us and I doubt that American companies that invest there will fare that well.
This trip was about one thing and one thing only; to burnish Obama’s reputation in the history books. Like his dealings with Iran, he eagerly made accommodations to get his day in the sun. Unlike Iran, this really doesn’t have consequences. I listened to his opening remarks and didn’t care for him repeating Castro’s criticism of the US. It sounded like the apology tour he took early in his presidency.
The next president will face many foreign affairs challenges. Cuba isn’t one of them.